I really appreciate this article because it is looking to modernize and improve upon a game we love.
Wilt Chamberland scored 100 points in a game!
Whenever I look at a problem, I try to find parallels that help give history and I feel that the NBA can help here. Basketball used to look a lot different than it does today. During Wilt’s heyday, not only was there no 3 second rule, there was only a 2-point shot. This led to basketball being a game where each team had their giant standing under the basket scoring most of the points – ‘the meta’. Wilt and his kin were the ‘power’. The problem was that the game was not gaining much traction and the NBA was not the powerhouse that we see today. The game was stale.
Enter the 3-point shot.
The 3-point shot was not universally embraced by the players or coaches at first. Soon however, everyone began to see how this opened up the game and made it more dynamic. The NBA viewership took off. It’s hard to even image the game without a 3-point shot today.
If you are reading this thread, I’m sure you love Vintage. As such, you should always be open to opportunities for improvement. If you are not open, you may be overlooking the change that takes the game to the next level.
In response to the question, I am enjoying this meta more than I have the average meta over the past few years. A big part of enjoying a meta for me is the feeling that I have some space to brew and be moderately successful.
For me to enjoy Vintage most, here are the main things I want to enable brewing:
There can't be an option that is so much better as to make all other plans obsolete. This was life in the heavy mentor era. There really were not alternate options to be competitive outside the established pillars. I don't feel like the current meta has a card set that can't be bested. This seems not to be true for shops. I feel for the shops players that like diversity. It's pretty much affinity style or bust - Forgemaster, Stax, Slaver, Welder, etc... are not very viable.
I want to be able to gain an advantage with cards you might not expect. This is why I despise G-Probe and did a dance of joy when it was restricted.
I don't want to have to artificially limit my options. This was the case with Chalice and is the case with Misstep. I still feel a bit stifled from this card but the recent disruptors of Hollow One and Lavinia have helped mess with the established pillars enough that there is room to explore.
As much as I would love to see Misstep gone, I have enough options to mix it up.
I enjoyed the show. I watch these anyways but I was really interested to see how all the Lavinia decks played out in this series. My take-away from this session was that while the card might be horrible to play against when it is out, the decks that play a strategy where a hate bear like this makes sense tend to have less dynamic win conditions.
I agree that it is ok to hold out for a win condition. It's justifiable to want to see what their plan to win the game is. That way you know if you are dealing with a mentor plan, tinker, tendrils, etc... I don't hold it against opponents when they do this to me and I hope they don't when I do it to them.
That said, once they demonstrate a win, I scoop every time. I don't like to get wins via the clock. It's an unfortunate necessity of MTGO and overall I like that each player gets equal time.
@ChubbyRain to say "And I'm sorry, if your deck folds to Mental Misstep, it's probably not a very good deck to begin with." is a bit unfair. Single hate cards can foil otherwise good decks.
For example if you followed legacy around the time Mental Misstep was banned in legacy, the High Tide deck started being a real player for quite a bit of time. It would not be fair to call that deck bad - it just struggled to fight through one specific heavily played hate card.
I like constant reevaluation of meta games. We could swing the whole process the other way. Many of the great 1-drop cards on the restricted list were put there before the printing of Misstep. Maybe since this car exists, they unrestrict fastbond, mystical tutor, imperial seal, or demonic consultation.
Having the conversation is, in my opinion, healthy...
Let me start by saying Mental Misstep:
- Is not broken
- Does not fit the guidelines for (vintage) restriction
- Vintage is in a pretty good place
That said, Misstep is by far my least favorite unrestricted card. I am a brewer at heart and Misstep does impact my ability to brew a consistently competitive deck.
While there is a good variety of viable decks, there are really only two viable castable archetypes right now - counter spell based deck or lock based decks. The other decks either don't have to cast spells to win (Bazaar decks) or only need to land a single spell (Oath decks)
With Misstep so heavily played, any deck trying to fight outside these spaces need to give up their opportunity cost of using limited early mana to progress their board state with one drops while the Misstep deck can progress their board state without need to use that limited early mana.
This keeps out more than just the more common known decks like welder decks, crop rotation decks, or ritual decks. It also stops yet to be proven potential decks like infect, non-prison zoo, and skull clamp decks.
The good news is that with the benefit of the rise of Survival Salad, Misstep has even fewer good targets. If the meta shifts enough that Misstep is dead more often, the number of copies will shrink. It looks as if this is already happening.
The one thing I think we can agree on is that we won't all agree. I will forever desire for shifting metas. Others like as little change as possible. Neither is absolutely right. Unless WOTC decided to start banning Vintage the same way they do Modern, I'll have to settle with playing decks that I am less excited about. At the end of the day, these are still pretty fun games - even if I feel the deck is stale.